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Comelec sets Cabadbaran recall polls: May 5

The Cabadbaran City mayoralty recall elections will be held on May 5, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced.

This, as the poll body dismissed, the petition of incumbent Mayor Katrina Marie Mortola, questioning the verification process last January.

Mortola automatically becomes a candidate in the election.

In a six-page resolution dated March 27, signed by Comelec Acting Chair Al A. Parreño and Commissioners Luie Tito F. Guia, Ma. Rowena Amelia V. Guanzon and Sheriff M. Abas,  sets dates or calendar of activities which will start April 14 as the posting of voters to be used in the recall elections.

The start of campaigning for the recall election will be on April 21 to May 3, with prohibited acts starting that day up to May 3 are not allowed, like appointment and hiring of new city hall employees, creation or filling up of new positions, giving promotion or salary increase, construction of public works, release, disbursement of expenditures, removing, destroying, obliterating, tampering or preventing distribution of lawful election propaganda.

On election day, all precints will be closed 6 p.m. as it also the start of canvassing of votes.

On May 6 up to June 4, 2018, filing of Sworn Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCEs).

The recall petition was signed by 12,044 registered voters of Cabadbaran, exceeding the needed 8,000 signatures for the recall to push through.

Last week, the Comelec announced that there was sufficient number of valid signatures in the recall petition. It said that out of the 12,044 signatures it verified, 10,651 signatures of petitioners were found valid.

The petition to recall Mayor Mortola was filed by defeated mayoral bet Judy Amante on Aug. 7, 2017, barely a year after she was declared winner  of the May 9 elections.

The petition, supported by Agusan del Norte Gov. Angel Amante-Matba, former Mayor Dale Corvera, Vice Mayor Rey Jamboy and city councilors cited “loss of trust and confidence” on Mortola’s leadership  as the reason for the move.

Amante’s bid to unseat Mortola through a recall election is unprecedented in local politics, as this will be the first time that a city mayor in Caraga faces recall challenge by the electorate. By Ben Serrano and GD

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